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More than 100 passengers left standing as Paolo Nutini fans crowd on to Oban train amid ScotRail cuts

Overcrowding on Glasgow to Oban train. Picture by Olive Glen-Lee.
Overcrowding on Glasgow to Oban train. Picture by Olive Glen-Lee.

Passengers aboard the 12.22pm train from Glasgow Queen Street to Oban today have raised concerns about overcrowding.

The train left slightly later than expected – believed to be due to a high volume of customers – and had by some estimates more than 100 extra people standing in the aisles.

The train was only one of two trains to the west coast town today that would get revellers to a gig by international singer songwriter Paolo Nutini.

A temporary timetable was introduced by ScotRail on Monday, that reduced the services to Oban by almost half – trains that would have run mid-morning were cancelled, as well as a late afternoon train.

Overcrowding on the Glasgow to Oban train. Picture by Olive Glen-Lee.

Football fans have already asked for extra services for the Scotland Ukraine game in June.

Concerns were raised by passengers on the Glasgow to Oban train after it was standing room only – with no ability for anyone to social distance.

Overcrowded with standing room only

While a few people were wearing masks – the majority weren’t – which one passenger said put others at risk.

Olive Glen-Lee, who got on the train for the three-hour trip to Oban, said: “The train is very overcrowded with standing room only.

“If this had happened in March or April there would have been an outrage.

“There seems to be about 50 or more extra people in this carriage alone. It is the same in the other carriages. It is going to be a very long trip for people standing all the way to Oban.”

There are at least three carriages coming to Oban. The train generally splits in half at Crianlarich with three carriages heading for Fort William and Mallaig.

A reader Colette MacLachlan contacted The Press and Journal to say while three trains were meant to run from Glasgow to Oban today – the first train of the day stopped in Crianlarich.

She said: “The earlier train didn’t actually make it all the way to Oban.

“The Oban section of the train terminated in Crianlarich, there was then a bus at Crianlarich to take people to Oban.

“But because there was only one bus there wasn’t enough seats, so 11 passengers were left in Crianlarich waiting for taxis to come from Oban to collect them.

“It was a shambles!”

It is the first time Nutini, famous for songs such as Pencil Full of Lead and New Shoes, has played in the west coast town. Tonight is the first of two gigs.

Tickets sold out in three minutes, leaving fans from the town disappointed.

David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said: “We’re sorry to our customers for the disruption they are facing as a result of the reduction in services, and we share their frustration.

“We’re keen to resolve the dispute as soon as possible and the timetable will operate for as long as it needs to in order to provide a more dependable service.

He continued: “The timetable is being regularly reviewed and we have been able to add some additional late-night services for this weekend, that will help to keep customers moving.

“We advise customers to check their journey before they travel.”

Have you been on a crowded train recently? Was it due to a reduced service? Tell us about your experience in the comments below. Or e-mail us on

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